Words can boost or block your business
Thursday, February 05, 2015
"To be successful, you have to be unique," Walt Disney once said. "You have to be so different that, if people want what you have, they have to come to you to get it."
Establishing your uniqueness, and differentiating your company depends a lot on the words you choose to use. How you describe your services and yourselves may well determine the quality and quantity of clients you attract.
Take a careful look at your website, and ask yourself if others can comprehend how special you are in four seconds, and two clicks. That is, after all, the average website visit today. The wording of the home page is especially important, given that half of the visitors to your site will never go beyond this page.
Do the words on your site, and on your social media sites and in your printed marketing materials, help you or hinder you? Do they qualify you for — or disqualify you from — working with your ideal prospects? Are they an asset or liability in defining your unique selling proposition?
To put it bluntly: Do your words "rock" or reek?
When it comes to setting your business apart, no other word is as effective as "only." Is yours the only firm of its kind in the area which carries a particular product line? The only company in your industry and region that offers a unique service? The only one that specializes in working with a certain client niche?
Tell them what only you do, and they’ll buy only from you.
But "only" isn’t the only word that you can use to dramatically differentiate your company. "First," as in "We’re the first company to offer this technology," can have significant impact, as well. So can "largest" (e.g., "We offer the area’s largest selection of cell phone accessories.") and "oldest" or "longest-established" ("Pittsburgh’s longest-established commercial printer").
Promoting the fact that yours is an "award-winning" organization can also put you in a class by itself in your marketplace. You can call yours the "leading" or "No. 1" company (e.g., "the region’s No. 1 supplier of snowboarding equipment") if you can substantiate that by citing sales, revenue, profits, or other data.
In contrast, according to LinkedIn, words like "creative," "organizational" and "responsible" are vague and overused.
The business-oriented social networking service did a survey of 187 million user profiles and came up with this list of "buzzwords (and phrases) to ban:"
- Extensive experience
- Track record
- Problem solving
- Team player
- Problem solver
Too many organizations play the "same game" in their marketing, resorting to these and other worn out words that too many of their competitors use too often.
Rise above the crowd by using words that spell out your specialness, and amplify the benefits you offer. Rather than referring to yourself as "results-oriented," for example, point out that you helped the company boost sales by 125 percent.
In this day and age of intense competition and short attention spans, simply adding more words to your online and print marketing materials is no shortcut to success.
Adding better words is the far better option.
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